I don't really know what I am musing on these days. It's more like an irregular stream of consciousness thing...it seems to be working.


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w March 26, 2007


So I went to the doctor this morning to try and figure out what was going on with the sore throat, earache, etc. Didn't look like strep, so she checked my ears...and couldn't see a dang thing because of, ah, buildup. Well, I know I am prone to it, so there it is. She mentioned that that may in fact be a huge chunk of why I wasn't feeling so hot, so they tried to irrigate with the syringe and warm water; the only result was that I couldn't hear ANYTHING. At this point she says, well, I don't want to push it any further, you'd better go down to Ear/Nose/Throat tomorrow and they'll take care of you. Fine. So I head home, and lo and behold, I actually get a call saying I can come in this afternoon. C'est fantastique.

As the ENT doc comments on how I might want to come in once a year for cleaning (and shows me what was in the right ear at least---let's just say I'm glad I wasn't eating), she then says "ummm...is there any reason you'd have a piece of glass in your ear?"

A PIECE OF GLASS. Yes, gentle readers, I had a half inch shard of glass resting against my left eardrum. Lovely, yes? She said it looked like auto glass, and Gene and I were in a fairly traumatic accident about six years ago, but I hadn't had any pain or issues with my ears, so of course no one thought to look, least of all me.

Piece of glass. In my EAR. Glass. Ear. I seriously didn't know whether to vomit or faint or both. Needless to say, I can hear a lot better now---the clicking of the keyboard is insanely loud, and I could even hear the metal on my watch kind of jangling, which was rather odd. The doctor did suggest that I take Mucinex for about a week as I clearly had some pressure in my left ear from the cold or whatnot, but it sounds like the wax buildup was a huge part of the problem, particularly coupled with even slight sinus issues. I still have a sore throat and a touch of an earache, but nothing like it has been, and at least now we've taken care of the GLASS SHARD IN MY EAR.

Sorry, I'm in equal parts grossed out and fascinated. I'm a freak!

by Heather Hoffman at 3:32 PM


Paging Dr Frankenstein

I don't know why this toy grossed me out so much, but it was enough to make me Google it and blog about it.

by Heather Hoffman at 12:44 PM

w March 25, 2007

Not Just Cookies

I just finished watching a special on the Oxygen network called "Daughters Left Behind", which focuses on the daughters of incarcerated mothers, hosted by Lisa Ling. Aside from the bawling that I did, thinking about what it would be like to be separated from my own two beloved girls for years at a stretch, it was really heartening to hear about two different programs aimed at helping these girls not only break the cycle, but to foster a lasting bond with their mothers. One was in Australia, so god only knows whether our progressive country would adopt it, but it was a brilliant idea, I thought: mothers who demonstrate non-violent behavior, refrain from drug use, and will have children under the age of six by the time of their release...live with their kids. In prison, yes, but to tell the truth, you'd barely know that it was. Women live with three other mothers in cottages that are only locked down at night, and there is plenty of open space and play equipment for the young ones all around, for lack of a better word, the compound. Apparently this program has been in place since the mid-90s, and by all accounts, has been a great success. The theory is that the first five to six years are so vital to the psychological and emotional health of a child that it's better to live with Mom in prison than without her outside. And seriously, it doesn't look like prison, it looks like a faintly sterile summer camp.

In the States, there are a few programs designed to maintain the fragile link between these daughters and their mothers; one of the more successful ones is Girl Scouts Beyond Bars, which establishes troops based on the shared experience of being the child of an incarcerated mother. Bi-monthly, the girls are collected by van and taken to the participating correctional instiute, where they essentially have a regular troop meeting, with their moms, in a large open room, no bars, no grates, no restraints. I freely admit I was snuffling quite heartily by the end of this segment, but I was also incredibly proud to have been a Brownie and a Girl Scout.

I will do my best to...make the world a better place. You had better believe they are practicing what they preach.

by Heather Hoffman at 6:53 PM

w March 22, 2007

Juggling Squirrels

This is the term my friend J came up with to describe life with two little kids, both of whom need something at all times. Occasionally concurrently, occasionally separately, but usually constantly.

Juggling squirrels. Yes. I am also fond of the term "screaming weasels", which is also fairly evocative.

by Heather Hoffman at 1:09 PM


Not Dead, Just Close

I am currently slogging through a cold that is kicking my ass, hence the severe lack of posts. That, and let's be honest, not much happens during the day that is any different from the days previous or subsequent. Still, in the interest of shouting out to any who read, hi, I'm still here, and only mostly dead.

I can't figure out if it's just a wretched cold, or a regular cold that is exacerbated by the lack of consistent sleep. I'm inclined to believe the latter, considering last night was a fairly typical one in that I was up every two hours from 10 pm until I dragged my sorry heinie out of bed at about 8:30. The girls have up to this point managed to avoid it, although I have my suspicions about Bean, as she was really out of it today and just has that "sick" look. Parents will know what I mean---it's undefineable and yet, there it is. And you say, yep, kid's sick. Anyway.
On the plus side, we got a new bookcase from Crate & Barrel that is rather more modern than we tend towards, but I think it will be an interesting addition to our newly hardwood downstairs hallway. That, and it will, I hope, be a stab in the direction of trying to organize the vast quantities of books we have scattered about the house. I think the last count we did back before Bean was born (as in, 6 years ago) was 1600. We *have* to have upwards of 2500 now, if not 3000. I feel a bit like the old woman in a shoe, but much like your children, you really can't get rid of them. I mean, I COULD...but you know. They are my babies.

Gene is not so much happy with this attitude.

by Heather Hoffman at 12:41 PM

w March 15, 2007

Oh March, You Are So Mad

This year's Carolina team has been doing well, as evidenced by their number one seed spot in the NCAA tourney, and what is so impressive is how deep their bench is.

I'm sorry, I just wrote that, and then realized I actually know what it means. You have to understand, I don't hate sports, but honestly, the terminology means less than zero to me 90% of the time, and I tend to think of games as being "something goes that direction, we all either cheer or scream in agony, something goes in the other direction, repeat".

Anyway, the point of this post is that I have a new favorite Carolina player (though Sean May will always always always have an open door, should he choose. Heh. I'm officially a dirty old woman now)---Ty Lawson, at only 19, has the most remarkable presence of mind on the court, not to mention FAST. He reminds me quite a bit of Raymond Felton, but I would argue has even more savvy when it comes to knowing where the ball is, to whom it should go, how far to drive it, etc. That being said, there is something utterly endearing about stork-like Brandan Wright and his braces. The kid looks like a pterodactyl or something when he goes after a shot block.
This team is really going to be interesting to watch over the next few years, provided they don't all defect to the NBA. But for now...the madness that is March.

by Heather Hoffman at 7:26 PM

w March 13, 2007

Sanity, Thy Name Is Exersaucer

Ah, the spinning wheel of neglect, beloved by most parents, decried by the few, the crunchy, the sanctimonious. We bought one for Bean when she was a baby, and she liked it well enough after a while, but even with the auditory component, it is still best appreciated visually, because it's as though a paint factory exploded. Talk about your insanely bright colors all in one place. At any rate, I thought I'd try the Peebs in it as she loveloveloves to stand up (with a great deal of support, she's not that advanced, don't worry) and I was getting tired of being the jungle gym. Well, kiss my grits, but she LOVED it. She's the faintest bit too small for it still, but it's well supported and she has plenty of leg strength, once she figures out how the seat works. She even attempted spinning around in it, at least a quarter of a turn.

The cutest thing was when I first plopped her in the seat and she caught a glimpse of all the Happy! Toys! That! Are! Brightly! Colored! and started blowing raspberries and cooing at them. I can't think of anything else that has yet piqued her interest so much---at the risk of wearing this novelty out, believe you me, we are going to maximize this.
I also got some very cute photos of her in the saucer, Bean in a chair next door, and semi-playing with each other. Well, Bean was shaking some of the toys and smiling at Peebs, and Peabo was staring at her big sister like "HOW THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THAT?"

by Heather Hoffman at 10:31 AM

w March 10, 2007

Brownie Brownies

Are surprisingly good, even in their sugar-free state. I had ordered Girl Scout cookies from two neighborhood kids, but of course said cookies are also flogged outside of supermarkets, etc. Needless to say, it was a challenge to pass them up on my way out last night , but I limited my purchase to one box of the sugar-free brownies. Because you know, it's practically health food.

I will also admit I tend towards buying Girl Scout cookies and similar because I see my future, writ large in small girls with winning smiles and an order form, with a bored looking mother hovering in the background, hissing "remember to say thank you!". It's karmic, in a way, you know? I don't know if Bean will do Scouts, but we certainly have PTA fundraisers every year (and a shout out to those who have put up with my shilling); Peabo might well do both. Really, being a parent is just one long exercise in fundraising. Free education, my ass.

Anyway, as you love me and my girls, and probably Girl Scout cookies, go fetch up a box of the brownies...that will be me in a few years hissing "SAY THANK YOU!"

by Heather Hoffman at 10:07 AM

w March 08, 2007


Thy name is HAMSTER.

This is currently cracking me up hugely.

by Heather Hoffman at 9:57 AM

w March 07, 2007

Why I Live In California

I love my hometown, I truly do. But when I graduated from university, I got as far away as I possibly could without falling into the ocean. And this is an excellent example of why.

by Heather Hoffman at 8:57 AM

w March 03, 2007

Crazy Making

Of course I forgot to take a picture of it before I sent it off, but I just recently finished a sweater for a friend, who is a fairly tall guy. The gauge of this sweater was eeeeeensy---and the yarn is thin. By the time I sewed that last seam and knit the collar, I was about ready to never touch another adult garment again IN MY LIFE. However. I think it turned out pretty well, and of course I hope said friend enjoys wearing it. At any rate, it's his now, and if he wants to chuck it in the Dumpster at work, well...that's okay by me.

Sticking to small child wear for a while.

Here is the picture, for those who are interested.

by Heather Hoffman at 5:22 PM